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For those who don’t want to cancel their cable service, cable TV providers such as Comcast and Time Warner offer on-demand options to their monthly subscribers.

Time Warner charges $5 for a new movie release and $2 for older movies. Other cable TV companies have similar pricing. Movies are sometimes free as part of a subscription to HBO or other premium channels.

Of course, you need monthly cable service. The average cost of Comcast Inc.’s basic package is about $60 for TV service, about 100 digital channels, music channels, video on demand and Time Warner Cable Inc.’s average monthly package also runs about $60 and gives access to more than 100 channels.

Comcast gets movies often on the same day they are available on DVD and says many of its indie films are available as soon as they come out in theaters. That makes it an option for customers who can pony up a bigger monthly subscription fee and value seeing recently released films. Being a subscriber also gives you access to its offerings online and on the iPad and iPhone.

Time Warner Cable has a catalog of about 10,000 movies. It also gets movies the same day they come out on DVD, giving it more recent content than Netflix streaming. Time Warner Cable also has an iPad app and you can watch its content inside your home, though not at coffee shops or other public places with Wi-Fi.

_ Hulu and Hulu Plus

Parent companies including The Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and Comcast Corp. are looking to sell the online video service, but that hasn’t stopped it from offering thousands of TV show episodes and movies to its viewers.

Besides a free option, Hulu Plus subscribers can pay $8 per month for more content, high-definition viewing and access on the iPad and newer-model iPhones, as well as video game consoles and high-end TV sets from Samsung, Sony or others.

Hulu’s content skews more toward TV shows than movies, though both are available. It’s a good option for those looking to watch shows such as the “Daily Show,” “Family Guy” or “The Office.”

Both Hulu and Hulu Plus show advertisements, though on Hulu Plus there are movies available without commercial interruption.


AP Personal Finance Writer Dave Carpenter contributed from Chicago